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Conspiracy Theories

Having run the New England prep school squash tournament for over twenty years now, I'm used to hearing some grumbling about seeding, draws, etc. It goes with the territory.

This year and last year, though, one particular school has made some less-than-subtle hints that the draws are always fixed to benefit my own team (which I don't even coach any more!), an accusation that clearly crosses the line. It is particularly galling this time around because it denigrates the efforts of the Choate players who really had a great final day of competition, winning matches against some tough opponents representing other schools finishing just a couple of points apart in the team scoring. The Wild Boars finished tied for fourth overall this year on the backs of these playoff and consolation wins--a bunch of them in five games--rather than through any advantage in the draw positions.

Moreover, the evidence of "a fix" was supposedly a favorable draw for the Choate #1 (a flight wherein the CRH player didn't win a single match for the second year in a row!). Last year the squad--when I WAS head coach--underperformed with a 10th-place finish! And each of the past two years, the team's captain has faced a top seed in the very first round. So if I'm "setting up" the draws, I must be doing a pretty lousy job of it.

Of course, what most of the critics don't understand is that the system is virtually corruption-proof. We have a five-member seeding committee reflecting geographic diversity that is elected by all coaches. Seeding is done by the group, the draws are made immediately by a computer program and posted on the Internet for all to review. It's about as transparent as we can make it, but I guess there always will be people taking cheap shots.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 25, 2007 3:02 PM.

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